Friday 14 September 2012

painting birds in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh

I was asked by Art in Healthcare to run two art workshops at the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh, on 10th & 11th September 2012. I was to base my workshop on an artwork from the collection of 1400+ paintings, drawings, photographs and prints that Art in Healthcare makes available for display in hospitals and healthcare centres. You can look through the collection by clicking here. It was great fun browsing so many works of art and deciding eventually on a lovely lithographic print by Edinburgh-born artist Colin Thoms of a cheeky dark bird standing against a sunny yellow background.

Colin Thoms - Bird, Tree and Red Sun - lithograph, 49x65cm - image courtesy of Art in Healthcare

Working in a hospital was a new experience for me, one which I now hope to repeat. The atmosphere in Sick Kids is great, staff are friendly and relaxed, wards are bright and airy, the playrooms... well... they make you want to stay all day! And most importantly of course - the children. The kids I worked with ranged in age from 3 to 11. All were really enthusiastic and had a great time using paint and crayons and pastels and glue to make their own collaged pictures of birds. Every child who took part created a beautiful artwork which will hang on the hospital walls to brighten the days of all who visit and work there. Here they are for you to enjoy too...

barn owl, by Luke, age 8

blackbird, by Finn, age 5

two owls, by Toni-Lee, age 7

colourful bird, background by Keegan, age 4, bird & leaves by Jessie, age 6 

buzzard, by Bethan, age 11

eagle, by T.J. age 8

flying gulls, by Sean, age 7

kingfisher, by Rhian, age 4

owl & woodpecker, by Caitlin, age 7

rainbow owl, by Joy, age 11

robin, by Abby, age 3

owl, by Adam, age 11

(thanks to Amelia Calvert, Volunteer and Outreach Manager, Art in Healthcare for taking all the photos)


  1. Hello Leo
    Quite enjoyed your last two postings, your sketches and the children's art. As I've just returned from a brief sketching trip up in (Lake) Superior Provincial Park I can attest to the fact that sketching outdoors while dealing with glaring sunlight and gale force winds is, to say the least, challenging. As for the children's art, oh to be young again and uninhibited. Some years ago I taught watercolour classes at a summer resort. Moms (mostly) (the dads went golfing) would attend with their young children in tow. The moms were inhibited by what they believed to be good, or bad, art, whereas the children knew no difference. The mom's art was forced, for won't of another word, whereas the children's art, as you discovered, was colourful and wonderful. Too bad that we had to grow up and learn what is and isn't commercially acceptable.

  2. These are great! Thanks for sharing them!